Sunday, July 31, 2011

CD Review: Connecticut's Own Saint Bernadette Releases "The Nevers"

Out of Bridgeport, CT comes Saint Bernadette with their new album entitled "The Nevers". The album will be released on August 9 and was produced by Danny Kadar (My Morning Jacket, The Avett Brothers).

The album begins with "In The Time Of Moses", a raw, classic hard rocker with pounding drums and screaming guitars. You can feel the anger in lead singer Meredith DiMenna's voice as she belts out the lyrics with reckless abandonment. The album follows the feelings of a marriage falling apart as it was written as DiMenna and her ex-husband and ex-bandmate Keith Saunders's were ending their relationship. Saint Bernadette show a bluesy side to their music on "Whatcha Prayin' For", while DiMenna's sultry vocals on "I Get Lost" is broken-up by a simple, but memorable keyboard. The classic rock strut of "Take It If It's Yours" along with the lyrics of deception show the full potential this band has to offer the music community. The vocals of Saunders and DiMenna in the ballad "In The Next Go Round" shows us the passion both have in saying goodbye to their relationship. DiMenna's vocals shine once again on the closing song, "Close Enough For Me" as you hear the frailty of her voice.

Saint Bernadette just wrapped up their tour this past month. Please visit the band's website (saintbernadettemusic.com) for videos, music and more.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

CD Review: Spindrift Introduces Us To "Classic Soundtracks"

From California comes the "psychedelic spaghetti western pioneers" known as Spindrift. Their latest release entitled "Classic Soundtracks: Vol. 1" contains unreleased work that the band has done over the past years. The album mixes the musical styles of rock and country with a touch of surf guitar to make it feel like it's coming from the west coast.

The band stretches the sounds of psychedelic rock as in "Space Vixens Theme" and "Theme form Confusion Range" in order to expand you mind. "Hellbound" is like a heavy country-rock version of the theme from "Rawhide". Keyboardist Sasha Vallely lends her voice to the eerie sounds of "Shadytown" which matches together perfectly. The surf guitar instrumental "Theme from Ghost Patrol" is one of the highlights of the album drawing similarities to fellow instrumentalist Los Straitjackets. The band creates a couple mini-epics with "Legend of the Widower Colby Wallace" and the 8-plus minute "Theme from Drifter's Pass". The music is so enrapturing that you can almost image the story in your head.

Spindrift have some great videos up on their website (spindriftwest.com) as well as tour dates and song samples. Be sure to check them out and give a spin.

Friday, July 29, 2011

CD Review: Ringo Deathstar Are On A "Colour Trip"

Texas trio Ringo Deathstarr released their newest album "Colour Trip" back in March on Sonic Unyon Records. The band's popularity has been growing by performing with the likes of The Ravonettes, The Trail of the Dead, The Dandy Warhols and others. Their loud fuzz guitars, up-tempo drumming and pop lyrics is a wake-up call for alternative music.

The band combines all these elements in the album's opening track "Imagine Hearts," but Ringo Deathstarr really take-off on "Weekend Dudes." Their buzz-like sound make you take notice, while their lyrics are hard to follow at times, but demands you to concentrate more on the music being produced. The band's playful lyrics on "Chloe" make this one of the more mainstream songs on this album. The modern, grunge rock of the mid-nineties comes shining through on "Day Dreamy." The band dabbles with psychedelic sounds on "So High" with minor success while their true sound returns in the punk-drumming of "Tambourine Girl."

The band will be on tour overseas for the month of August. For song samples and album information, please visit the band's myspace page (myspace.com/ringodeathstarr).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

CD Review: Against All Will Come Up With "A Rhyme & Reason"

Original Puddle of Mudd member Jimmy Allen has put together a new band that includes Soulfly bassist Cello Dias, Instinct of Aggression drummer Phillip Gonyea and singer Jeff Current formerly of Seven Story Drop. The new band entitled Against All Will have released their debut album, "A Rhyme & Reason" and is available now.

The album's lead single "Swept Away" is a great introduction to this new hard rock supergroup. The group has a great rock sound that doesn't overpower the strong vocals and memorable lyrics. One of the two songs on the Active Rock Top 100 chart is the the groove rocker "All About You." This is a great song about the sweetness of revenge. The other song that is burning up the rock radio charts is "The Drug I Need." The combination of real lyrics and an exploding chorus gives their music an edge that rock fans are looking for.

Against All Will have a couple of days lined up in August, but keep a close eye on this powerhouse, hard rock band. For more information, please visit the band's website, againstallwill.com.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CD Review: The Concord Music Group Rolls Out The Next Wave Of Jazz Remasters

The Concord Music Group are releasing their next wave of the Jazz Classics Remasters. The six titles getting the treatment they deserve are Ornette Coleman "Something Else", Chet Baker "In New York", Thelonious Monk "Thelonious Alone In San Francisco", Bill Evans Trio "Explorations", Cannonball Adderley "Know What I Mean?," and Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass "Easy Living". Each of these albums were remastered by Joe Tarantino and some contain previously unreleased bonus tracks.

This 1958 album "Something Else!!!" is the debut of Ornette Coleman as a bandleader. This album was the first of his only two releases on Contemporary Records. Coleman wastes no time jumping right in on the album's opener "Invisible". The music on this album easily stands the test of time, over 50 years later. His time signatures on "The Blessing" and "The Disguise" were so different that fellow musicians questioned his approach to Jazz music. But one can't help the appeal of "Angel Voice" with the duel attack of Colman's alto sax and Don Cherry's trumpet. The album finishes with the amazing, tempo-changing, "The Sphinx" which set the stage for what the future held for Ornette Coleman. The newly released remastered album includes new liner notes from Neil Tesser.

Jazz great Chet Baker released his first album on Riverside Records in 1958 called "In New York". The album reflects the sounds of this city's spirit with the hustle of "Hotel 49" and the lonely nights of "Polka Dots and Moonbeams". Chet's band who included Al Haig on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums have their day in the sun on "Solar" before Chet and tenor sax great Johnny Griffen take over in "Blue Thoughts". The album also includes one bonus track, the Fletcher Henderson penned "Soft Winds", which Chet Baker and his band find enjoyment in performing. The newly released remastered album includes new liner notes from Doug Ramsey.

Thelonious Monk found success as a solo artist on his 1957 album, "Thelonious Himself" which included the well-famous "Round Midnight". He would follow it up two years later with "Thelonious Alone In San Francisco", a sequel to that first solo album. The album was recorded at Fugazi Hall in San Francisco in October 1959. On this newly remastered album we hear every note perfectly as a relaxed Thelonious Monk performs many originals including the popular "Blue Monk" and "Reflections". He also tackles some cover songs with gentle ease including Irving Berlin's "Remember". This new release includes one bonus track, the first take of "There's Danger In Your Eyes, Cherie" which finds Monk feeling he way around the song's arrangement. A wonderful addition to this already legendary album. The newly released remastered album includes new liner notes from Neil Tesser.

In 1961, Bill Evans had just recorded the album "Explorations" with one of his best trio of musicians. The album was released on Riverside Records later that year and would end up being the only album Evans would record with bassist Scott LaFaro as he would die in a car accident shortly after recording this album. By 1961, Evans was a very mature pianist and it shows right from the beginning in "Israel". The trio locks together on the up-tempo "Beautiful Love" as you feel each member feeding off each other's energy. LaFaro's bass skills shine on "Nardis" while drummer Paul Motion finishes strong with a solo on "Sweet And Lovely". The newly remastered album contains four bonus tracks including the omitted "The Boy Next Door" which just shows how smooth Evans' piano playing was at this point of his career. The newly released remastered album includes new liner notes from Ashley Kahn.

Saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and pianist Bill Evans were once colleagues of the historic Miles Davis Sextet in 1958. Three years later, the two teamed up again to record the album "Know What I Mean?". This newly remastered album brings out the best in these two Jazz legends. Evans' piano in "Waltz For Debby" sets the stage for Adderley and the band (Percy Heath on bass, Connie Kay on drums) to fill the song with emotion. The two trade solos in "Goodbye" before combining their talents in "Who Cares?". The slow waltz of "Venice" is over too soon, but the band jumps right back into the quick notes of "Toy". The album includes three bonus tracks including a 7-minute version of "Know What I Mean?" that shows the individual talents of the quartet of musicians. The newly released remastered album includes new liner notes from Orrin Keepnews.

In 1986, Ella Fitzgerald had reached a milestone as she past the half-century mark in her singing career. Her voice was much more seasoned and seemed to have a wider range of notes for her to hit. On this release, Ella teamed up with Jazz guitarist Joe Pass for an album full of covers that have since gone by the wayside. Ella welcomes the challenge of making these songs her own by breathing new life into them. While Ella's voice is the star of this album, Joe's guitar does a great job at filling in the background until he needs to step forward with a solo. The album is very relaxing with some of the stand out songs being "My Man" which showcases the deepness in Ella's voice and "Easy Living" that just has such a smoothness to Ella's voice and Joe's guitar. The absence of drums and bass allow for Ella to do a little scat singing as in "Don't Be That Way" and " I Want A Little Girl". Joe Pass never tries to outshine Ella's voice, but does shine through on "On Green Dolphin Street". The bonus tracks on this release are an alternate take of Benny Goodman's "Don't Be That Way" and Cole Porter's "Love For Sale". Both tracks could have been the final album, but are finally released here for all to hear. The newly released remastered album includes new liner notes from Tad Herson.

All of these album were released on June 14 through the Concord Music Group. For more information on these new releases and to find out about other Jazz classics, please visit concordmusicgroup.com. Don't forget, this weekend is the 24th Annual Great Connecticut Tradional Jazz Festival at the Four Points Sheraton in Meriden, CT. Please visit myrecordjournal.com or greatctjazz.org for more information.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CD Review: Lisa Morales Makes A "Beautiful Mistake"

Singer/songwriter Lisa Morales has branched out on her own after building a strong following as a member of Sisters Morales. Her latest release entitled “Beautiful Mistake” is a powerful piece of music, as Morales taps her inner soul to deliver one of her best albums.

She comes right out of the gate with “I Am The Weakest” which starts off slow then builds to a rocking chorus. Guest vocalist Walt Wilkins lends his voice to the Carol King-sounding “Fool That I Am.” Lisa gets her groove going in the blues shuffle of “I Don’t Want To Hear What You Have To Say.” The gentleness in Lisa voice shines on the ballad “You Forgot To Love Me” before getting help from Dustin Welch on the country sounds of “Beautiful Mistake.” Lisa Morales kicks it into gear on the high-energy rocker “Driving and Cryin” before returning to the folk sounds of “Looking For Something Beautiful.” The album closes with the slow blues of “This Heart For Sale.”

Lisa Morales displays her many passions for different musical genres on this latest release and she covers them all with perfection. Her new album “Beautiful Mistake” is available now; please visit her website (lisamoralesmusic.com) for more information on the album as well as tour dates, music and more.

Monday, July 25, 2011

CD Review: The Concord Music Group Gives Us The Best Of Tony Bennett

The Concord Music Group has released a new greatest hits album from legendary crooner Tony Bennett. The album entitled "Tony Bennett: The Best of the Improv Recordings" is a condensed, 16-song CD taken from the 4-CD box set. The Improv Recordings capture Tony Bennett during his run of hits in the 1970's.

This new release begins with cover of the Rogers & Hart classic "This Can't Be Love". Right away you notice how smooth Tony's voice sounded during this triumphant period of his career. This disc contains many of the classic songs that Tony Bennett has made his own including "The Lady Is A Tramp," "Isn't It Romantic," and "Blue Moon." This album also contains the songs "Make Someone Happy" and "You Don't Know What Love Is" which Bennett performs with jazz piano legend Bill Evans. The highlight of this release are the two live songs at the close of this album. Recorded back in 1977, you can just hear how Tony hits the gentle notes of "While We're Young" and how he just takes over the room with his signature song "I Left My Heart In San Francisco."

"The Best of the Improv Recordings" was made available on July 12 to celebrate the 85th birthday of Tony Bennett. For more information on this release and other Concord Music Group releases, please visit their website at concordmusicgroup.com.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Concert Review: Tim McGraw Is Bigger & Better At Mohegan Sun

Some say that “bigger is better.” If that is true, then Tim McGraw was definitely better on his return to the Mohegan Sun arena Saturday night. Everything about his show was bigger; the stage was huge, with three separate 20 foot screens that moved to whatever the song called for. He had two giant high-definition video screens on each side of the stage and a catwalk that stretched to almost the back of the arena. Tim McGraw also had a second mini-stage set up behind the soundboard on which he began his night of country music.

Tim McGraw entered the arena from one of the back staircases, walking with a bit of a limp due to his broken foot. But, once he took the stage, the audience was all his. Fans were on their feet right from the beginning with ”Something Like That,” “Where The Green Grass Grows,” and “Down On The Farm.” Tim’s voice was smooth and strong on ”Please Remember Me” as the 44 year old performer covered a lot of ground walking up on down that catwalk all evening. McGraw also mentioned that he and his band, The Dancehall Doctors, have a new album recorded called “Emotional Traffic.” Fans were given the opportunity to hear “Right Back At Ya” and ”Better Than I Used To Be,” a couple of songs from that new album. The energy in the arena was so high; McGraw called out the opening band, The Band Perry, to perform “Can’t Be Really Gone.” The second opening act, Luke Bryan, helped out on “Back When” which brought big smiles to Tim’s face. The audience got involved singing the chorus to “Felt Good On My Lips” before Tim McGraw closed is set with ”Real Good Man.”

The band returned to the stage first to set-up the encore which included two of McGraw’s biggest hit singles “Live Like You Were Dying” and “I Like It, I Love It.” With a party like atmosphere, everyone in attendance was appreciative toward one of country’s true superstars.

The Band Perry started the evening off with a six song set that included their #1 hit single “If I Die Young.” Rising country star Luke Bryan really got things going with his hour-long energetic set that includes the hits “Do I” and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”. He finished with his first “top 5” single “All My Friends Say” which included a taste of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” for the rockers in the audience.

Setlist:
Something Like That
Where The Green Grass Grows
Down On The Farm
Last Dollar (Fly Away)
Just To See You Smile
Please Remember Me
For A Little While
Right Back At Ya
Red Ragtop
Unbroken
Sail On (Lionel Richie cover)
Can’t Be Really Gone (with The Band Perry)
Do You Want Fries With That
Back When (with Luke Bryan)
Better Than I Used To Be
The Cowboy In Me
Southern Voice
Felt Good On My Lips
Real Good Man
Encore:
Live Like You Were Dying
Indian Outlaw
I Like It, I Love It

Saturday, July 23, 2011

CD Review: Abbe May Returns With "Desire"

Australian native Abbe May is returning with her third album "Design Desire" and is ready to shake up rock radio. Two singles off the new album have already garnished attention in Los Angeles and in her home country of Australia. One of her songs was also featured on the new music website Spinner.com. The new album was released on July 8 on the Source Music/MGM label.

The deep, heavy guitar and pounding drums of the album's opening track "Design Desire" sounds like a call to arms as the song builds to its chorus. Abbe's voice is more noticeable in "Universes" as a simple, but effective drum beat pulsates through the song. But the most noticeable thing on this album is Abbe's guitar playing, which at times sounds like dirty blues as in "Cast That Devil Out" and at other times sound like grunge rock glory as in "Mammalian Locomotion". It seems as if Abbe has been taking notes from Jack White's playbook. Abbe softens her sound on the piano ballad "Blood River" and the playful "Feeling Like A Man, Looking Like A Woman". From that point on, the album never fully recovers from this slow-down, but the eerie storytelling drama "Carolina" gives the album a nice touch to end with.

Check out Abbe May's website (abbemay.com) for more information on her new album, "Design Desire".

Friday, July 22, 2011

CD Review: Tristan Clopet Said To "Name It What You Want"

Singer/songwriter Tristan Clopet has just released his debut album entitled "Name It What You Want". The album comes out on the heels of his successful "Living Room Sessions" and features production help from Raymond Richards (Local Natives) and Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend).

The album's first single "A Chat With My Brain" has a catchy chorus with some great tempo changes to break-up the song's pop sound. Tristan continues down that alternative/pop road with "When You Were Younger" before branching out with the more experimental "Idiosyncrasies of the Resolute" which challenges his song-writing. The extended musical breaks shows off the wonderful musicianship and takes the song out of the pop genre. The song "Toutes Directions" has a great sound that combines acoustic rock with some country piano to make it the strongest, most enlightening song on the album.

Tristan Clopet just finished up his "Name It What You Want" tour with a couple of dates in the south. Visit his website (tristanclopet.com) for song samples, videos and upcoming tour dates.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CD Review: Kenton Chen's "Fierce Tears" EP

Singer/songwriter Kenton Chen released his new EP "Fierce Tears" on July 1. His lyrics and vocal delivery draws similarities to Jason Mraz, especially on the up-tempo, modern sounding "Enough". He proceeds to counter that with the solo piano delivery of "Take Me Home" which truly reveals the power and tonality of Kenton's voice.

Kenton Chen was first discovered as a founding member of The Backbeats before moving on to become the runner-up on Season 2 of NBC's "The Sing-Off". Kenton has shared the stage with the likes of Sheryl Crow, Sara Bareilles, Stevie Wonder and has recently opened for Ben Folds. His music and lyrics are definitely worth checking out, so please visit his website itskenton.com.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CD Review: Sister CIty Leave Their "Carbon Footprint"

New England punk rockers Sister City have just released their most recent album "Carbon Footprint" in June. The album deals with the serious issues of death, your legacy and who you are. The album is available at http://sistercity.bandcamp.com as a pay-what-you-want download.

The album begins with "Hit Too Hard" which proudly displays the band's roots in punk music. The sound reflects a 90s-style version of punk before it became a modern polished radio staple. While lead-singer Adam Linder's vocals are not perfect on "Some Prefer Nettles", that adds to the song's overall appeal. The song "Poland, 1845" is just a great energetic piece of music about appreciating your ancestors. The band expand their sound on "Reinventing Adm Linder", taking a more alternative approach similar to the Violent Femmes or Dead Milkmen. The album closes with the 6-minute, slow-builder "How Much", a passionate song about leaving your "carbon footprint".

For more information on this album, please visit the band's website, sistercityband.com.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

CD Review: Suicide Silence Rule With "The Black Crown"

California metal band Suicide Silence released their third full-length album on July 19. The album entitled "The Black Crown" was released through Century Media Records and was produced by Steve Evetts (Sepultura, Hatebreed).

If you are unaware of the type of music that Suicide Silence produces, then you are in for a rude awaking. The new album blast right out of the gate with the album's third single "Slaves to Substance." The energy and speed that Suicide Silence put into their music is hard to match. Their music has no gimmicks or trickery, it is straight forward speed metal with lead singer Mitch Lucker leading the way with his screaming vocals. The album's first single "Human Violence" is a neck-breaking, head-banging speed rocker that is motored by the drumming of Alex Lopez. The second single released was "You Only Live Once" which has some nice chord changes. The song "Witness the Addiction" features Jonathan Davis of Korn and is one of the more mainstream metal songs on the album.

Suicide Silence are on tour as part of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. They will be performing at the Comcast Music Theatre In Hartford on July 24. For a complete list of tour dates and more information on the new album visit the band's facebook page (facebook.com/suicidesilence).

Monday, July 18, 2011

CD Review: AutoKratz Gives Us A Lesson In "Self Help"

London duo autoKratz recently released their follow-up to their 2009 album "Animal". The new album entitled "Self Help for Beginners" grows upon the success that the duo have been receiving.

The album's first single "Opposite of Love" was released as an EP and shows us the control these two have over their music and lyrics. The dance beat keeps the music fresh while the laid back vocals keep your interest. The band continues with the release of their second single "Becoming The Wraith" which features Peter Hook, bassist for New Order. Hook adds a little bit extra to the song's overall appeal in order to make it a sure-fire hit single. AutoKratz begin to experiment more with their sound on "Fireflies" adding a more spacey, atmospheric feeling to their music. The duo pick up the intensity on "Kick" which includes guitar from Andrew Innes of Primal Scream. The album finishes with the mellow tone of "My Own Black Heart" and the uplifting, pulsating beats of "R.I.S.E.".

AutoKratz have a few dates in Europe before heading to Japan in August. For song samples and free downloads, check out their website, autokratz.com.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

CD Review: Annie Dressner Introduces Us To "Strangers"

Singer/songwriter Annie Dressner is releasing her debut album this month. The album boasts the first "Facebook Inspired" song entitled "Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names". The album flows very smoothly with the combination of low-key acoustic instrumentation and the innocence of Annie's voice.

The album starts off with "Fly" that carries similarities to the folk-rock band Bright Eyes as Anne's way with worlds reflects that of Connor Oberst. The country-folk sounds of "September" and "When I See Stars" is where Annie's voice and lyrics shine. Annie goes a little alternative on "Cigarette" but counters that with the gentleness of "With You". The album's title song "Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names" has some great, thought-provoking lyrics when you think about the subject matter of online dating. Annie mixes up the tempos with the back-porch sounds of "Hardy Boys" and the alternative rock of "Find Me" before closing with the quiet questions of "How Am I Supposed To Be?".

Annie Dressner's debut album will be released on July 19. you can pre-order the album from her website, anniedressner.com. There you will also find song samples, videos, tour dates, and more.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Concert Review: Motley Crue & Poison Explode At Mohegan Sun

Two of the elite rock bands to emerge from the eighties joined forces Friday night to electrify the Mohegan Sun Arena. Poison and Motley Crue have lead similar paths to success. Both bands were very hard working in their beginnings on the L.A. club scene. Both bands began their careers with make-up caked on their faces and outlandish clothing and both bands are now celebrating anniversaries (Poison’s 25th & Motley Crue’s 30th). While both bands put on a great show, their differences in their performances shone through.

Poison’s 50 minute display was like a well-oiled machine. There timing was perfect, as was their set list. Their performance was full of hits as the audience knew every line to every song by heart. Poison got the explosions started early with “Look What The Cat Dragged In” and “Ride The Wind.” From that point on, they turned the stage into one big party as Bret Michaels, C.C. DeVille and Bobby Dall worked the stage, covering a lot ground to get the crowd pumped. Rikki Rockett’s drum solo led to a sing-along of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” From that point on, the band never looked back as they pushed the amount of energy in high-gear finishing with “Talk Dirty To Me” and “Nothin’ But A Good Time.” As Poison left the stage, the audience was pumped and ready for more.

Motley Crue’s entrance to the stage was like a bomb going off in the arena as fireworks and explosions flew from their stage. With a couple of female dancers by his side, lead singer Vince Neil worked the audience with early favorites “Live Wire” and “Shout At The Devil.” The only problem with Motley Crue’s set was the long gaps of silence between songs. This was especially annoying during their power ballad “Home Sweet Home” as Tommy Lee ran between the piano and drums. But Lee’s drum solo was one of the best rock spectacles I’ve ever seen at a concert. His drum set rotated 360 degrees around a steal track which stood 50 feet tall. From that point on, The Crue could do no wrong blasting out hits like “Dr. Feelgood” and “Too Young To Fall In Love.” The one rare gem of their greatest hits set list was “Ten Seconds To Love” which made long-time fans very happy indeed. Motley Crue finished their 80 minute set with the classics “Girls, Girls Girls” and “Smokin’ In The Boys Room.”

It was no sooner as they exited the stage that two female dancers with flame throwers came out, paving the way for guitarist Mick Mars’ intro to “Kickstart My Heart.” With energy levels at an all time high, the band rocked the song as if it was their last performance of the tour. As the band came together at the front of the stage to take a bow, they doused the audience with buckets of water to signal their finale.

Both Motley Crue and Poison gave fans what they demanded as two of rock’s powerhouse bands came together to put on a performance for the ages. Seventies glam-rockers the New York Dolls opened the show with a 40-minute set that included the punk-style of “Trash” along with fan favorites “Pills” and “Personality Crisis.”

Poison Setlist:
Look What The Cat Dragged In
Ride The Wind
We're An American Band
You Mama Don't Dance
Fallen Angel
Unskinny Bop
Every Rose Has It's Thorn
Talk Dirty To Me
Nothin' But A Good Time

Motley Crue Setlist:
Wild Side
Saints Of Los Angeles
Live Wire
Shout At The Devil
Same Ol' Situation
Primal Scream
Home Sweet Home
Don't Go Away Mad |(Just Go Away)
Looks That Kill
Dr. Feelgood
Too Young To Fall In Love
Ten Seconds To Love
Girls, Girls, Girls
Smokin' In The Boys Room
Encore:
Kickstart My Heart

Thursday, July 14, 2011

CD Review: Mattson 2 Have "Feeling Hands" For New Release

The duo of Jonathan (drums) and Jared (guitar/bass), known as Mattson 2, have released their latest album entitled "Feeling Hands". The album is the result of two years of touring, writing, and recording. The album combines the elements of jazz, with punk and surf guitar to create a unique musical experience.

Right from the opening track "Pleasure Point", you notice the jazz-style drumming combined with some nice surf guitar that even Dick Dale would be proud of. "Ode To Lou" carries a more jazz feeling with the addition of sax to balance with the gentle sounds of guitar. A Spanish flair gets touched upon in "Mexican Synth" before giving off a jamband vibe on "Chi Nine" which features some nice guitar from Ray Barbee. Guest guitarist Tommy Guerrero adds a bit of funk and soul to "Give Inski's" before Mattson 2 head in a more punk direction on "Obvious Church". The album closes with the mellow sounds of "Man From Anamnesis" highlighting some nice drum-work by Jonathan.

The new album "Feeling Hands" was released back in June and is available on itunes and through the band's website, mattson2.com.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CD Review: Heavy Glow Lets Out A "Midnight Moan"

The San Diego trio known as Heavy Glow are releasing a new album entitled "Midnight Moan". The band's last two EPs received rave reviews and a couple of the songs have been used on Fox television and on Classic Rock Magazine's sampler. Their 2010 album "The Filth & Fury" was nominated for "Best Rock Album of the Year" at the 2010 San Diego Music Awards.

Heavy Glow keep the power and energy from their past releases while featuring a more mature heavy classic rock sound. The lead song "Lose My Mind" seems to en-capture the band's sound from 70s rock icons like Foghat and Black Sabbath which carries over into the deep, dark "Slave Dance". The combination of Joe Brooks on bass and Dan Kurtz on drums gives a moodiness to the songs with Jared Mullins on guitar guiding the way. The song "All My Money" combines a southern rock vibe with the natural heaviness of the band's sound. Mullins' vocals on "Collide" sound like Axl Rose, while the slight distortion on "Purgatory Blues" sets the tone for this heavy blues romp. The acoustic "Smithereen" shows a softer side to the band before closing with the powerful rhythm of the 7-plus minute "Diggin' A Ditch".

For more information on this rising band from California, please visit their website, heavyglowmusic.com.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

CD Review: Bern & The Brights' "Starchild" Single

From New Jersey comes Bern & The Brights with a new 7-inch single entitled "Starchild". The band has performed over 300 shows in the last few years and have released two EPs. They are currently working on another album, hopefully their full-length debut, but we'll have to wait and see.

The new single "Starchild" is a light, energetic, fun pop song with Catherine's vocals taking the spotlight. The chords changes within the song keep you on your toes as the song sways between pop/rock/reggae, similar to No Doubt. The flip side is "Lost In The Sea" which follows along the same lines as "Starchild", but with a more mellow, coastal sound. If you close your eyes, the song puts you right at the beach.

Bern & The Brights have dates scattered throughout the summer in the NY/NJ area. Check out their website (bernandthebrights.com) for a complete list of tour dates and to hear some of the new music they're creating.

Monday, July 11, 2011

CD Review: The Wilderness of Manitoba Play With "Fire"

Canadian folk band The Wilderness of Manitoba have recently released their new full-length album entitled "When You Left The Fire." They will also be performing at Rudy's in New Haven, CT on Saturday, July 16.

The special thing about this foursome is how perfectly their voices mesh together. The instrumentation in their songs are just for atmosphere as their voices become the main focus on songs like "Hardship Acres," "In the Family," and the powerful "Native Tongue." The album's first single "Orono Park" is just a soundscape of harmonies that swirl around your head. The band is sure to be mentioned with fellow folk artists The Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons when one is asked about the latest folk bands gaining popularity. The slow jaunt of "White Water" and the Simon & Garfunkel sounding "Golden Beets" round-out the talent this band has to offer.

For a complete list of tour dates as well as videos and music samples, visit their myspace page (myspace.com/thewildernessofmanitoba).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

CD Review: Concord Music Puts Together "The Definitive Chick Corea" Collection

Jazz great Chick Corea celebrated his 70th birthday on June 12 and to honor him, Concord Music Group released "The Definitive Chick Corea on Stretch and Concord". This two-CD set gathers some of Corea's best work between 1980 and 2009. While many of these recordings are not new to fans, one particular track is the previously unreleased live version of "La Fiesta" recorded live in Seattle, WA.

The first disc takes us from "Tap Step", through a live version of "Folk Song" featuring tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, the first of many artists to collaborate with Corea. While many of his studio songs are a lesson jazz, it is the live songs like the 11-minute "Dreamless" where we see the true talents of Chick Corea open up. His solo piano work on "Spain" and "It Could Happen To You" is a wonder to behold as you just get lost in the moment.

Disc two opens with Corea's cover of "Blue Monk" which features Bobby McFerrin. The release of that song was to celebrate Corea's 60th birthday back in 2001. Chick Corea duets with Japanese pianist Hiromi on the Beatles classic "Fool On The Hill", but his collaboration with Bela Fleck on "Senorita" is one of the most exciting tracks in this set. The second disc closes with a 13-plus minute version of "The Disguise" and the aforementioned unreleased "La Fiesta".

The Concord Music Group has done a wonderful job with this and former "Definitive" Jazz albums. To find out more about this release and others, please visit the Concord Music website (concordmusicgroup.com).

Saturday, July 9, 2011

CD Review: Mana Rocks On "Drama Y Luz"

Spanish rock band Mana have recently released “Drama Y Luz”, the long awaited follow-up to their Grammy winning 2006 album “Amar es Combatir." The new album debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts and #1 on the Billboard Latin Albums chart. This album along with all their others is sung entirely in Spanish, but their sound on the new album is pure mainstream rock.

The album’s first single “Lluvia Al Corazon” carries a catchy dance beat that becomes the backbone for the song’s popular sound as it debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Singles chart. The song “Amor Glandestino” is more laid-back as the band gets ready to take-off with the up-tempo “Mi Reina Del Dolor”. Mana takes a more pop route with the slow beats of “Sor Maria” and “Vuella Libre Paloma”. Even without fully understanding the lyrics, the sound of “No Te Rindas” just wraps you up with the band’s smooth vocals and comfortable music. Mana shows how to rock on “Latinamerica” and “Envenename,” but they seem more comfortable performing the gentler “El Dragon” and “El Verdadero Amor Perona.”

Mana began their four month-long tour in Puerto Rico in June. For a complete list of dates, please visit their website, mana.com. You will also find song samples, videos and more from the new album.

Friday, July 8, 2011

CD Review: Arpline Show Us Their "Travel Book"

From Brooklyn, NY comes ArpLine with their newest release "Travel Book". The band follows in the footsteps of Grammy winners Arcade Fire and Animal Collective with their combination of electronics and rock music. The new album came out in May and has received praise in the New York area.

Dance beats, fuzz guitars, and passionate vocals identify what this band is all about. The up-tempo "Fold Up Like A Piece Of Paper" sounds like Jack White on speed during a rave. "Make It Rain" carries a more industrial rock sound while "Amplify" finds a more mainstream sound that would appeal to a wider audience. The big drums of "Weekend In The Colonies" make you want to stand-up and rock out to this hard hitting sound. ArpLine love their synthesizers as displayed in "Cap". The album finishes with the lighter, more atmospheric "Rope" that shows off a more approachable sound to their music.

Please visit the band's website (arpline.com) to find out more about this new band from New York.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Concert Review: Soundgarden Turn Mohegan Sun Into 90s Nostalgia Trip

There were no mosh pits. There was no stage diving. Actually, the only indicent of the evening was a fan coming up short on reaching the stage as security sprang into action. It was a nostalgia trip for many in attendance as grunge-metal pioneers Soundgarden visited the Mohegan Sun arena Wednesday night. Lead singer Chris Cornell mentioned that it's been "at least 14 years" since the band's last tour. He saw many young faces in the crowd and all in attendance were ready to witness one of the biggest names in alternative rock music on their comback tour.

Soundgarden was welcomed with a roaring applause as they took the stage. They wasted no time getting the energy flowing early with their huge hit "Spoonman" and fan favorite "Gun" from their 1989 album "Louder Than Love." Their new song "Black Rain" blended in perfectly with early rockers "Let Me Drown" and "Jesus Christ Pose." Cornell and company slowed the tempo slightly for "Blow Up The Outside World" which found the audience singing along to the chorus.

Being there, it was hard to believe that almost 15 years had passed, as alternative rock radio hits "My Wave" and "The Day I Tried To Live" sounded as good that night as when they were first released. After the experimental rock gem "Hunted Down," the band exploded with an all-out rock assault on the senses with "Rusty Cage" and "Outshined." Soundgarden was less than perfect on the feedback-filled "Black Hole Sun," but closed their set strong with "Superunknown."

The six-song encore was filled with rare and obscure songs beginning with "Room A Thousand Years Wide" and "Face Pollution" from their break-through 1991 album "Badmotorfinger." The band continued down the nostalgic path with "4th of July" and "Like Suicide" before finishing with "Slaves & Bulldozers." The members of Soundgarden exited the stage one by one as guitar feedback flowed out of the speakers as if it was their calling card.

Fans hope that this is only the beginning of the next chapter in the evolution of a band whose bears the burden of sculpting today's rock music scene. Hard rockers Coheed & Cambria opened the night with a 45-minute set of originals, easily making new fans with each powerful blast of music.

Setlist:
Searching With My Good Eye Closed
Spoonman
Gun
Black Rain
Let Me Drown
Jesus Christ Pose
Blow Up the Outside World
My Wave
The Day I Tried to Live
Ugly Truth
Fell on Black Days
Hunted Down
Rusty Cage
Outshined
Beyond the Wheel
Burden in My Hand
Black Hole Sun
Superunknown
Encore:
Room a Thousand Years Wide
Hands All Over
Face Pollution
4th of July
Like Suicide
Slaves & Bulldozers

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

CD Review: The Paper Scissors Are Remembered "In Loving Memory"

From Australia comes The Paper Scissors with their new album entitled "In Loving Memory". The band creates an atmosphere of music which includes a bunch of different influences wrapped into one. The first song on the album, "Disco Connect" combines the sound of The Clash with parts of reggae and 80's synthesizers along with a Roger Waters-type growl to begin with. Their music is hard to categorize as they expand their sound with the industrial rock of "Dozens". The album's first single "Lung Sum" carries a more pop-friendly beat before being taken over by the post-punk drumming in "On Your Hand". The band drills the chorus of "Soft Pig" and "Mechanism" in your head as it repeats to no end. All their musicianship comes together nicely on "Turn It To Gold".

The new album was mixed by producer Tom McFall (REM, Weezer, Snow Patrol) and was released on June 17. The band is currently taking up residence in Australia with shows lasting to mid-July. Please visit the band's website (thepaperscissors.com) for a complete list of tour dates, videos, music and more.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CD Review: Golden Glow's "Tender" New Release

Singer/songwriter Pierre Hall has released a new album entitled "Tender Is The Night" under the name Golden Glow. Pierre was once a member of the British-pop band Lead Balloons until 2009. After a car accident that left him unable to walk for 6 months, Pierre rethought his musical approach and began Golden Glow.

Pierre's deep voice draws similarities to Peter Murphy on the album's opening track "Adore Me" as the music plays out like a dance beat highlighted by some punk guitar strums. The album starts to take off with "The Cure" as his voice and chorus are irresistible. The demo sounding "The Blizzard" captures that moment of recording that overdubs would only ruin. Although the sound is a bit rough, it plays perfectly into the overall sound Pierre is trying to portray. Pierre' s voice once again deepens to reflect the combination of singers Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen, especially on the mellow "All Time". He rocks out on the aggressive sounding "At A Loss" before returning back to the more pop friendly "Streetlighter".

His new album was released on June 21 and Golden Glow have a few dates scheduled in the U.K. Check out his videos on his myspace page (myspace.com/goldenglowmusic) to get a sense at how much talent Pierre Hall has to give.

Monday, July 4, 2011

CD Review: David Bromberg Uses Friends On New Album

It's good to know that we didn't have to wait another 17 years for the next album from the legendary David Bromberg. His new album entitled "Use Me" will be released on July 12 on Appleseed Records. While his last release, "Try Me One More Time" had David performing solo, this release has him performing with some of the biggest names in the music business.

The album begins with the only Bromberg original "Tongue". The song has an up-tempo blues sound that features Levon Helm on drums and Bromberg on some nice electric guitar. The song also features Larry Campbell on guitar as well as producer. At times, Bromberg's vocals draw similarities to B.B. King as in "Ride On Out A Ways" which includes some nice guitar by John Hiatt. Levon Helm and Larry Campbell return for the bluegrass/country sounding "Bring It With You When You Come". Bromberg stays true to form on the wonderfully written "Blues Is Fallin'" that features Tim O'Brien on mandolin. The addition of Dr. John on "You Don't Wanna Make Me Mad" brings the funk sound to the forefront. It's had Bromberg stepping out of his musical boundary to try something different. The blues comes back in the Keb' Mo' produced "Diggin' In The Deep Blue Sea", then Los Lobos adds a little spanish flair to "The Long Goodbye". Bromberg seems to have the most fun performing on "Old Neighborhood" which features Widespread Panic as his backing band. The album turns country again with the acoustic "It's Just A Matter Of Time" and "Lookout Mountain Girl" which has help from Vince Gill. The album closes with a cover of Bill Withers' "Use Me" that has Bromberg combining all the elements of funk, jazz, blues and country to make the song all his own.

David Bromberg has a load of summer dates scattered up and down the east and west coast. Check his website (davidbromberg.net) for a full list of tour dates as well as more information on his new album.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Concert Review: Def Leppard And Heart Rock The Mohegan Sun Arena

During the decade from 1980 to 1989, Heart and Def Leppard combined sell over 50 million albums in the US. Their songs were staples on rock radio and their music videos were in heavy rotation on MTV. On Saturday night (July 2), these two rock powerhouses joined forces at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

The band Heart are very well-known for the sister duo of Ann and Nancy Wilson, as they are the only two remaining original members of the band. Singing soulstress, Ann Wilson had no problems hitting the notes and her high piercing vocals never sounded better opening with “Cook With Fire” and “Heartless.” Then Heart kicked it into high gear with their biggest singles of the 80’s “Never,” “What About Love,” and “These Dreams.” Guitar virtuoso Nancy Wilson came alive on the band’s early hits “Magic Man” and “Crazy On You.” Their short hour long set closed with the raw energy and screaming guitars of “Barracuda.” As the audience cheered on, Heart returned with a surprising cover of Led Zeppelin’s “What Is And What Should Never Be.” Once again, Ann’s vocals and Nancy’s guitar playing made the song all their own.

With the lights out once again, it was time for Def Leppard to take the stage. Images of sport heroes and world leaders splashed across the screens as the group dove into their newest song “Undefeated.” Their set list ran through as a greatest hits package. Fans were on their feet singing along to “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Animal”. Front man Joe Elliott made sure the band received the applause it deserved, working the audience into a frenzy at every opportunity. Newest band member Vivian Campbell made his presence known with his electrifying solo on “Love Bites.” After the heavy drumming of “Rocket,” Def Leppard slowed things down with an acoustic version of “Two Steps Behind.” The audience helped Elliott sing the beginning of “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak” before the entire band returned to blow the roof off the arena. Def Leppard finished with their biggest hit singles, “Armageddon It” and “Photograph” before hitting the climax with “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”

Drummer Rick Allen introduced the encore with his only vocals of the night reciting "Gunter glieben glauchen globen,” as the audience jumped to their feet for “Rock Of Ages.” Def Leppard proved once again that after over thirty years, they are still one of the best rock bands performing live.

Heart Setlist:
Cook With Fire
Heartless
Never
What About Love
These Dreams
You’re The Voice
Alone
WTF
Magic Man
Crazy On You
Barracuda
Encore: What Is And What Should Never Be

Def Leppard Setlist:
Undefeated
Let’s Get Rocked
Animal
Make Love Like A Man
Foolin’
Love Bites
Rock On
Rocket
Two Steps Behind
Bringin’ On The Heartbreak
Switch 625
Hysteria
Armageddon It
Photograph
Pour Some Sugar On Me
Encore: Rock Of Ages

Saturday, July 2, 2011

CD Review: The Luck Of Eden Hall Flies High With "Butterfly Revolutions"

From Chicago comes The Luck of Eden Hall with volume 1 of their new release "Butterfly Revolutions". Volume 2 will be released this fall. The band combines psychedelic lyrics with a modern alternative rock sound.

The album begins with "Chrysalide" that fully embodies the band's appeal with a sound similar to Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men". The band's lyrics are definitely exploratory as in "This Weather's Better For Velvet Clothes" and "Medicine Queen". "Jupiter" expands the band's sound (and your mind) with a more progressive rock approach similar to early Pink Floyd. The band has fun with the up-tempo rocker "Shampoo", then takes you on a short adventure with the trippy sounds of "Pretty Little Things". The Luck of Eden Hall rocks the hardest on "She Falls Down" before closing with the mellow, experimental "Queen Anne's Lace".

The new album "Butterfly Revolutions: Volume 1" was released on July 1. The band has a show scheduled for July 20 in Chicago. Check out the band's myspace page (myspace.com/theluckofedenhall) for song samples and tour information.

Friday, July 1, 2011

CD Review: Charlotte Eriksson Presents "The Glass Child"

From Sweden comes "The Glass Child", a new album from Charlotte Eriksson. The album's lead song "Creepy Little Story" is a great, self-evaluated acoustic folk song with a punk-rock attitude. Her overall sound is a combination of protest folk singer and punk rock edginess. The song "Play Pretend" shows us her passion for her song-writing with Charlotte' s vocals drawing similarities to Hayley Williams of Paramore. Her mainstream, alternative rock sound shines on "I'm Hidden So Well" before her folk desires come through on "I'll Never Tell". The new album closes with the big production sounds of "Stuck In My Mind". For more information on this European songstress, please visit her website charlotteeriksson.com.